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[ESPN] Okafor Agreed to Sign 6yr $72 million

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by wink2cat, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. wink2cat

    wink2cat Contributing Member

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3509028

    The Charlotte Bobcats have reached a six-year, $72 million deal with restricted free agent Emeka Okafor.




    Okafor

    General manager Rod Higgins confirmed the deal Tuesday.

    The agreement with Okafor by far represents Charlotte's biggest expenditure on one player as the club readies for its fifth season. Okafor turned down a five-year deal with a similar $12 million annual average before last season, preferring to wait for restricted free agency.

    Okafor was the Bobcats' first-ever draft choice with the No. 2 overall pick in 2004 and was widely viewed around the league as a prime sign-and-trade candidate, on the premise that the Bobcats wouldn't spend to keep him. Charlotte raised questions about its own interest in retaining the 25-year-old by making what sources say was a five-year contract offer starting at the $5.6 million mid-level exception to veteran center DeSagana Diop early in free agency.

    But Diop elected to take a similar deal from the Dallas Mavericks, while the Bobcats -- most notably new coach Larry Brown -- kept publicly proclaiming their intention to resist any sign-and-trade interest in Okafor and eventually come to terms with their most accomplished interior force defensively.

    Several top restricted free agents have endured slow-moving negotiations with their teams -- Atlanta's Josh Smith, Chicago's Luol Deng and Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala chief among them -- in a marketplace where only the Memphis Grizzlies have the salary-cap space to extend a lucrative offer sheet to Okafor and his peers in the restricted class. But Memphis has made it clear that it prefers to save its cap room for the summer of 2009.

    The only other ways for top restricted free agents to create leverage -- to either secure the level of compensation they desire or force a sign-and-trade -- are by threatening to sign a one-year qualifying offer that would lead to unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2009 or by entertaining lucrative interest from overseas, as Atlanta's Josh Childress did and ultimately accepted from Greek giants Olympiacos.

    It's believed that Okafor, because his salary on a one-year qualifying basis would still be a healthy $7.1 million, convinced the Bobcats he was serious about going that route. The Bobcats then could have lost Okafor without compensation next summer once he became an unrestricted free agent.

    Okafor averaged 13.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks last season in 33.2 minutes per game but never clicked with coach Sam Vincent, who was fired by team president and former teammate Michael Jordan after just one season. Okafor has already played for Brown on the 2004 U.S. Olympic team and has generated plenty of praise from the bench veteran lately.

    "I hope that it works out because I was with him a little while and he's a terrific kid," Brown said earlier this month. "He plays a position that's very hard to find. And he's the second pick in the draft. I'm sure we'll do what's right. Hopefully he'll be here."

    Although he was limited to 26 games in his second NBA season because of a persistent ankle injury, Okafor played all 82 games last season and has averaged a double-double in each of his four seasons in the league.

    An annual salary of $12 million would be in line with the contract extension 2005's No. 1 overall pick Andrew Bogut received from the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month. Bogut signed a five-year deal with $60 million with hard-to-reach incentives that, if realized, could take the overall worth of the contract past $70 million.
     
    #1 wink2cat, Jul 29, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  2. pugsly8422

    pugsly8422 Contributing Member

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    That last sentence made me wonder...who would you rather have, Bogut or Okafor? I'm sure it would change team to team, but in general, for the same price, which player would you choose?

    Pugs
     
  3. Chamillionaire

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    Okafor IMO, but it all depends on whose on the team. on our team... bogut just because he`s a better offensive player, but on the Lakers... Celtics, Suns... teams with already established scorers, Okafor...
     
  4. pmac

    pmac Contributing Member

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    Bogut's bigger and much more offensively talented. I would take him unless i already had a decent big and needed defense more.
     
  5. DaDakota

    DaDakota If you want to know, just ask!

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    I would take either on the Rockets right now.

    :D

    DD
     
  6. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    never realized bogut was improving like that, when I first saw that bogut got the same deal I was like "what???" but their stats are very similar.
     
  7. Apollo Creed

    Apollo Creed Contributing Member

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    Outside of assists, their offensive numbers are comparable. If it weren't for injury issues, I'd take Okafor every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Even with his history, I'd still probably take Okafor. He's also not the whiny b**** that Bogut is either.
     
  8. yuantian

    yuantian Contributing Member

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    okafor will never get the offensive skills that bogut already has. if bogut didn't play for the bucks with mo and mike, his stats would be way higher.
     
  9. Dave2000

    Dave2000 Contributing Member

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    Okafor is improving his offensive skills, although he got blocked by Deke in the 21st win towards the end of the game, he held his own and kept scoring on Deke. His defense is consistent, but his offense is spotty.

    I'd take Okafor over Bogut anyday.
     
  10. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    that's a blast from the past, just replace bogut with yao, and mo and mike with francis and mobley
     
  11. baller4life315

    baller4life315 Contributing Member

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    A necessary but pricey move for a guy that hasn't really blown anybody away. He'll be making roughly $1M for every PPG he averages. Pricey but he anchors everything inside for them. Without Okafor the Bobcats are the worst NBA frontcourt ever.
     
  12. lalala902102001

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    This is fair market value for an above average starting C/PF in the league.
     
  13. GotGame15

    GotGame15 Member

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    so hold up....werent they saying that he was wrong for not signing a contract a season or two ago that was for 12 mil/yr cuz now his market value is lower?? well so much for that...cuz hes getting the same amount again lol
     
  14. rockets_fanatic

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    They are both different in the way they play. Together they wold be a pretty good pairing.
     

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